Dharamshala: In a press statement issued on 17 November by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, he designated China along with countries like Burma, Eritrea, Iran, DPRK, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, as countries of particular concern for violation of religious freedom.
“Each year the Secretary of State has the responsibility to identify governments and non-state actors, who, because of their religious freedom violations, merit designation under the International Religious Freedom Act,” he said in the statement.
“I am designating Burma, the People’s Republic of China, Eritrea, Iran, the DPRK, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern for having engaged in or tolerated “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom,” he added.
“I am also placing Algeria, Comoros, Cuba, and Nicaragua on a Special Watch List for governments that have engaged in or tolerated “severe violations of religious freedom,” he said.
Secretary Blinken also promised the United States’ unwavering commitment to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for all and in every country. He noted that governments harass, arrest, threaten, jail, and kill individuals simply for seeking to live their lives in accordance with their beliefs in far too many places around the world. He expressed that the US administration is committed to supporting every individual’s right to freedom of religion or belief, including by confronting and combating violators and abusers of this human right.